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About the theory test

What happens in the theory test?

This is a 50-question multiple-choice test. To pass you must answer 43 or more questions correctly within 57 minutes. Questions are chosen at random from a bank of over 1,000 questions, and you answer by touching the screen. During the test you have the option to skip questions and return to them later.

What is the hazard perception test?

This is part II of your theory test and contains a series of 14 one-minute video clips showing potential road hazards. You have to identify 15 developing hazards (one clip has two hazards). The faster you identify them, the higher you score. You need to score at least 44 out of 75 to pass this test (each hazard has a maximum of 5 points) and you have 20 minutes to do it in. You can't repeat any of the clips – the idea is that on the road you don't get a second chance with hazards.

How much do they cost and when should I take them?

The fee for the test is £31 as it's really one test in two parts, which means you need to take them together and pass both parts at the same time. To cancel you must give three clear working days' notice or you'll lose your fee.

Test tips

  • Don't take it before you're ready – ask your instructor for advice on when you should apply.
  • Don't just rely on your lessons. Study the 'Highway Code', and 'The Official DSA Theory Test' book.
  • On the day of the test bring your signed photo-card licence and paper counterpart. If you don't bring these, your test will be cancelled.
  • Leave time at the end of the theory test to check your answers in case you've hit the wrong choice by accident.

What happens if I pass?

You will get your pass certificate, which lasts two years. This means you have a two-year period in which to take and pass your practical test. If you don't do it within this period you have to take the theory and hazard tests again.

What happens if I fail?

Study some more, then take the test again. About 37% of people fail the theory test first time. The most common reasons are forgetting the rules of the road, and not bringing the right documentation.

How to book your test

You can book online: www.gov.uk/book-practical-driving-test, or by telephone: 0870 0101372 (0845 600 6700 for Northern Ireland).

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